Defying his age, Nelson has had a mammoth year so far. In February he announced the release of his 70th studio album. Meanwhile, he has contributed immensely to the highly anticipated month of 4/20, hosting live-streamed events in its honour. In a fitting coincidence, his birthday poetically rings out marijuana’s unofficial holiday.
Willie Nelson turns 87 today. Footage from his 1976 Austin City Limits performance and a song by Nathaniel Rateliff are available in celebration.
To celebrate, Austin City Limits has released Wille Nelson’s full performance from 1976. The footage was taken from the first episode of the iconic TV series’ second season, and features Nelson’s family band playing 1975’s Red Headed Stranger in full. It is a welcome addition to a growing list of unearthed concert footage during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Additionally, Nathaniel Rateliff has premiered Wille’s Birthday Song. The Americana singer-songwriter teamed up with Nelson’s sister Bobbie, as well as his sons, Lucas and Micah, in a wholesome gesture of appreciation for Nelson’s contributions, both as a musician and a person.
All proceeds from Wille’s Birthday Song will go to Farm Aid, an annual benefit concert for American farmers, founded by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young in 1985. Farm Aid took place as an online streaming event earlier this month as a result of COVID-19 complications.
You can check out the full performance from Austin City Limits and Willie’s Birthday Song below.